Google has confirmed the roll-out of its restaurant reservation feature on Android and iOS operating systems across the U.S. The feature, powered by Duplex’s AI technology, is a part of Google Assistant and will allow users to automate their restaurant reservations.
At first, when the technology was demoed in May 2018, the AI bot voice was so real that ethical questions were immediately raised about the dangers of such a technology. Some wondered how much time it would take for such a technology to become a real-world technology, but the transition happened rather quickly. Just months after the demo, it was released for testing across most major states in the U.S.
As for ethical questions, Google added a note before the call — ‘This call is from Google’ — explaining the reason for the call. Google has also given businesses the option to opt-out from such calls. However, businesses may find opting-out ambiguous because if the adoption goes mainstream, businesses will miss out on interested customers.
Google confirms that the Duplex-powered product’s expansion started last week on Android 5.0 + and iOS but the release hasn’t yet reached all the targeted devices. Also, Google does not have a confirmed timeline for the same.
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The chatbot feature is capable of making other bookings as well. But Google, currently, only wants to focus on the Google Assistant feature being able to handle restaurant reservations. The assistant will work with ‘Reserve with Google’ for restaurants that have already partnered with Google for reservations.
Duplex also has an additional attribute of checking for business information if it is not updated on Google, such as opening and closing hours. Leveraging this data, the business listing will be updated at the earliest, Google confirms.
Pixel 3 owners in 43 U.S. states had their first look at this feature. Google intends to release the feature in all states in the country in the near future.